martinibuster - 8:32 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
Links are a part... but the squatty part. It is, and always has been, the content.
I know of many SERPs where content is not the reason a site is ranking in the top five. One example is a site ranking for a two word phrase despite returning 404 error pages for the linked content. It is ranking despite that there is no content. The reason it is ranking is LINKS. The site has many links to content that no longer exists and are returning 404 error pages.
From my experience, as far as Google is concerned, links play a large role, with content playing a smaller role. This is one of the reasons why webmasters see a difference between Yahoo SERPs and Google SERPs. Links are counted differently. That is not just my opinion, it's a statement based on my experience and observation.